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How to Talk About PRICE when selling a Pool…

(AKA “How to Talk about MONEY – Part 2”)

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

I’ve got some GOOD NEWS about these “How to Sell a Swimming Pool” newsletters.  They’re going to get SHORTER! (I sometimes get carried away sharing my advice, so my New Year’s resolution is to limit myself to just ONE piece of advice at a time.)

In my previous article, I gave you some specific suggestions of how to talk about money, including “What’s your budget?” and “Where’s the money coming from?”  (I also mentioned some good basic sales tips to use in any conversation, plus some special dirty tricks you can use when you’re face-to-face.)

But NOW we’re talking about PRICE.  And it’s important we don’t confuse PRICE with MONEY, because they are 2 totally different things. (YOU ask THEM questions about MONEY; THEY ask YOU questions about PRICE.)  Even more importantly, I dare say that:

HOW you respond to their question of price
is more important than the price itself.

That’s because (as I have stated many times before) most homeowners don’t know anything about (1) HOW to build a quality swimming pool, or (2) how MUCH that pool should cost.

Homeowners don’t know enough about pools
or pool builders to make an intelligent choice.

So they usually default to
Who’s got the lowest price?

This should come as no surprise.  If you’re shopping and look at two examples of ANYTHING, and they both look the same to you, then you would naturally choose whichever one costs less.

If I could, I would offer to every price-obsessed pool-buying homeowner in the world the following 2 pieces of advice:

  1. Deep down, the vast majority of pool builders want you to be delighted with your new swimming pool. In fact, one of their greatest joys is to satisfy not only you, but to also satisfy all the friends and neighbors you refer to them for many years to come. So as you search for your “Perfect Pool”, try to be reasonable with your builder, and they will usually bend over backwards to satisfy you.
  2. A common mistake for homeowners is to believe that a particular pool of a particular size with particular features should cost exactly the same, no matter who builds it. But if that were true, then a four-door Mercedes-Benz and a four-door Hyundai Sonata, both of which have a GPS, electric windows, leather seats and a CD player would cost exactly the same.

Mercedes versus Kia

Fortunately, most people understand that a Mercedes is going to cost 2 to 4 times as much as comparably-equipped Hyundai. Yet people happily pay the difference every day. Why? Because most people understand and appreciate the differences between these two vehicles. It’s not the options, or the features, or the size. It’s the quality of workmanship, and ultimately the enjoyment they will get by choosing and using the superior product.

So the next time someone asks you “How much does your average pool cost?” I suggest you reply with something along the lines of the following:

  • Well that’s a great question. I don’t know.  It all depends on what you’re looking for.
  • That’s exactly what we need to figure out.  May I ask you a few questions (about what you’re looking for)?
  • We don’t build “average” pools. We build awesome pools. Would you like me to quote you a price for an awesome pool?
  • I’m thinking that an “average price” is kind of meaningless if it’s not the kind of pool you’re looking for. Wouldn’t you agree?
  • Well, most of our pools land somewhere between $500 and $500,000. Some cost a little more, and some cost a little less, but the vast majority fall in that range.

When someone exclaims “$500?!?” I would say “Oh yes, I can get you into a very nice inflatable above-ground pool for $500.

And when someone exclaims “$500,000?!?” I would say “Oh yes, I’ve seen people pay more than $1 million for a backyard swimming pool resort.  But most of our pools don’t cost quite that much.

The Vast Range in Price

Obviously, you’ve got to be careful how you say that, because we don’t want to offend any of our prospects. But we DO want to help get them off of their “price obsession” and slap a little sense into them. I’m certain you’ll agree with me that we DO want every homeowner to understand that:

  1. You shouldn’t waste your time asking for a price over the phone. (The builder has to see your yard first.)
  2. You should IGNORE any quote you get over the phone. (It’s a meaningless number.)
  3. You don’t know enough about swimming pools to let price be the deciding factor. It’s WAY more complicated than that.
  4. If you fixate on price, you’re not going to get what you really want.
  5. And if you choose “the lowest bidder,” you should absolutely automatically expect to receive the lowest quality.

BOTTOM LINE: When your prospective pool buyer asks you for a price, let that be your reminder that they’re in over their heads, and don’t know what they’re doing.  Help them through this, and there’s an excellent chance they’ll thank you by making their swimming pool investment with YOU.

To your success,

PS – I think I blew it with my “shorter e-mails” resolution.  But I’ll keep working on it…

2016 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.

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